Apprenticeships–no better time than now

The financial case for embarking on an apprenticeship has never been stronger.

A recent article from The Guardian newspaper reports a very poor prospect for some graduates, such as Law, in find work after they qualify.


In some cases it might be better to secure employment first and then complete your formal training as you earn money – this is known as an Apprenticeship.

Taking into account university fees, low initial income in a part time job while trying to find a job and the possible additional costs of having to move home to get a job all amount to a young person being seriously out of pocket and still having the burden of their student loan hanging over them.

The apprenticeship by contrast is an opportunity to get into a company as a low cost, low risk young person who a company can mould to their particular working way. An apprentice starts at a modest salary (between £500-£1000 per month) and works their way through the businesses department learning the ropes. Many apprentices these days are given the opportunity to study for higher educational qualifications and in many cases this can be sponsored degrees.

Our financial projections show that an apprentice, progressing strongly through to a management grade, starting at 16, will be significantly better off than a medical student, reading medicine, at the age of 50 due to their gradual earning opportunities and the doctor’s many years in the wilderness studying and not earning.

wages vs doctor

For those people who believe that the apprenticeship route is for people who are “good with their hands” or “not academic”, I would refer you to:-

Jamie OliverJamie Oliver – After leaving school at 16 with just two GCSEs, the Naked Chef began his career in cooking with an NVQ in home economics from Westminster College

Alexander McQueen – McQueen left Rokeby School in Stratford with just one O-Level – in art – and went to serve an apprenticeship with Anderson & Sheppard, a traditional Savile Row tailor


brawnRoss Brawn – In the 70’s was an apprentice mechanical technician at Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, Oxfordshire

Sir Alex Ferguson – began his working life outside of football, serving as an apprentice tool-maker in the Govan shipyards, Glasgow.



Laurence Graff – The billionaire founder of Graff Diamonds left school at the age of just fifteen to become an apprentice jeweller, learning the basics of creating and repairing rings in Hatton Garden, London.




Henry Ford – In 1879, Henry Ford left his parents’ farm in Greenfield Township, Michigan, to work as an apprentice machinist in Detroit




The best place to look for an apprenticeship is to search the internet and talk to people who work for firms that offer apprenticeships. Unfortunately there is lots of information out there but not all of it is useful. Schools do play their part but many of them are stuck in the “university” time zone as its sounds better for their credentials. Obviously some schools are better than others.

If you would like work experience in the building industry as a plumber please drop us a line.

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